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Befriender - Look Ahead

Closing date: 31 March 2019


Look Ahead supports thousands of people across London and the South East with a diverse range of needs, helping them to make individual choices, achieve goals and take control of their own lives by providing tailor-made support, care and accommodation services.

Role description: 

About the role

Mainly the role is about befriending someone who may be lonely or vulnerable. A befriender will provide the customer with companionship and support, both practical and emotional. Tasks may be as simple as sitting and having a chat with the customer, but can also range to supporting the customer in a more practical sense, such as accompanying them to appointments, or taking them shopping etc. Befrienders can help customers integrate into the community by taking them to events, concerts etc, and may also take part in leisure or sporting activities. Each befriending role and experience is different, but all will make a difference to our customer’s lives.

Main tasks and responsibilities

  • Support customers and provide practical assistance where they have not yet developed the skills.
  • Enable customers to make full use of community facilities by providing support as directed by supervisor or support staff.
  • Support customers to attend GP and health appointments and religious services as directed.
  • Support customers to integrate into the community including e.g. accompanying the customer to enquire information at colleges about possible courses, to visit various public amenities etc.
  • Support customers to go shopping for food, clothes etc.
  • Providing customers with companionship. E.g. accompanying customers to visit relatives, attend special interest clubs, go out walking, to the park, dinner, play board games and cards
  • Planning groups, day trips and outings e.g. to the seaside, art galleries/museums, and encourage co production, choice and control.
  • Encourage customers to take interest in and undertake basic sports, creative and arts activities in or outside the home. E.g. swimming, jogging, attend gym, health clubs, go dancing, play music, make (draw/paint) pictures, take simple photographs, attend theatre/amateur dramatics etc.

Experience, skills and attributes needed

  • Kind and empathetic
  • Enjoys social interaction
  • Friendly
  • Approachable and open
  • Calm and resilient, doesn’t let emotion adversely affect them or obscure their judgement
  • Good written and verbal communicator who is respectful, articulate and sensitive in their style of communication

The minimum age requirement for this role is 18+

What this role offers for volunteers

  • Supportive working environment
  • Lunch and travel expenses reimbursed (up to a set amount)
  • Opportunities to meet new people
  • Routes to progress into other volunteering/employment opportunities
  • Reference can be provided (if you volunteer for 6 months)
  • One day induction training


Other information: 

Additional support: Support can be arranged on an individual basis, for example some of our volunteers has a hearing impairment so we provide a hearing loop during training etc.

Induction arrangements: One day induction

Mandatory training: One day induction at head office in Westminster

Application process: By application form

Selection process: By application and interview

DBS check required: Yes

References required: 2 from non-family members

Flexible hours and time commitment, volunteers only need to complete a few hours a month. Days of the week and times are also flexible to the volunteer and Look Ahead service that they are placed with. Volunteer placements may be offered outside of Redbridge due to availability at the time of recruitment. However, a volunteer can wait until a placement is available in their preferred locality. This may increase the length of recruitment.
Expenses: Travel and subsistence

Type of activity: 

London Borough of RedbridgeNHS Redbridge Clinical Commissioing GroupLondon CouncilsMayor of LondonEuropean Social FundSkills Funding Agency  Big Lottery